Most of the Russian North is completely roadless. Whole villages, towns, and cities lie beyond any road or rail network. In summer they are supplied by boats which ply every one of Siberia’s great north-flowing rivers. In winter, however, a vast network of ziminki opens up. A zimnik is a temporary winter road, either on the surface of a frozen river or solid ground and made out of compacted snow. For six months of the year, areas that are completely cut off from the rest of Russia in summer become accessible to anyone with a good 4×4 or all-terrain vehicle.
When the zimniki open up, the ice road truckers come out. They spend the winter coursing up and down from the Arctic to “The Big Land”, as the rest of Russia is referred to by isolated Arctic villagers.
These truckers are hardy people who spend most of the winter out on the ice roads, very far from warmth, comfort, and their families. They sell their goods in Arctic villages for roughly four times the regular price, which makes a 4000km 2-week journey profitable.
There is also something of an ice-road culture among these truckers. They have their own etiquette, superstitions, rituals, a way of life and unusual nomadic community.
We offer two types of overland trip on the ice roads:
2. Bespoke trips for adventure travellers or film crews to accompany real ice road truckers on their trips to supply Arctic villages in Yakutia. Please get in contact for an itinerary and quote tailored specifically to your goals.
Many of our other trips include some amount of ice road travel, although it is not the primary focus of the trip. These includes:
1. Winter trips to the Yamal Peninsula
2. Arctic Nomads (trip to Dolgan reindeer herders in Artic Yakutia)
3. Horse and Reindeer Herders (Yakutia)
4. Mammoth tusk hunters (Yakutia)